Editor's note:

Mod­ern writ­ers often share per­son­al sto­ries and feel­ings. Done well it helps bridge the­o­ry and prac­tice. These heart-on-your-sleeve style authors ignite my own desire for a more authen­tic faith. 

Late­ly though I’m moved by anoth­er style of writ­ing, the kind where the author shares lit­tle regard­ing him or her­self. It is easy for this kind of writ­ing to become aloof and aca­d­e­m­ic. When instead it is full of warmth, clar­i­ty, and con­vic­tion, it bears the mark of a clas­sic. Though the author is absent in the text he is not absent from it. The writ­ing has author­i­ty, not as the scribes,” because the words have long been lived before they were writ­ten. Richard Fos­ter’s work has that quality.

—Brian Morykon

Jesus Christ is alive today in pow­er and wants to be your present teacher. Ser­mons and church ser­vices are not suf­fi­cient to bring you into the new life of obe­di­ence and pow­er that God wants for you. Jesus will be with you and teach you con­stant­ly day and night. To begin this excit­ing exper­i­ment, you do not even need to have all the cor­rect doc­trines or believe all the right things — all you need is a long­ing to know God. If you lis­ten, He will teach you. His voice is not hard to hear. His vocab­u­lary is not hard to understand.

Jesus Christ wants to share with you His liv­ing pow­er so that you are able to come into total obe­di­ence to His way of right­eous­ness. He wants to bring you out of the old ways of sin and rebel­lion and into the new ways of life and obe­di­ence. He desires to set you free from all slav­ery, the lust for sta­tus, the opin­ions of oth­ers, the can­cer of anger, and all forms of dis­obe­di­ence to God. He will teach you how to live and fill you with His mighty love so you can live that way.

Jesus Christ wants to bring you into His new com­mu­ni­ty that is ordered and gov­erned by Him. This new peo­ple gath­ered to God by Christ are to learn togeth­er, obey togeth­er, wit­ness togeth­er, and suf­fer togeth­er. This new com­mu­ni­ty may be found in present church groups; it may also be found out­side of them. Jesus Christ, your present Teacher will guide you to oth­er peo­ple who are lis­ten­ing to His voice and obey­ing His Word. The most promi­nent char­ac­ter­is­tics of this new com­mu­ni­ty of God will be com­pas­sion, trust, and sharing.

This new life is a won­der­ful lib­er­a­tion, but it is also cost­ly. It will cost you every­thing that is in oppo­si­tion to God’s way of life and right­eous­ness. All idol­a­tries must be aban­doned. All easy believisms” that leave the tenor of your life untouched are not the gospel that Jesus Christ brings. He calls for uncon­di­tion­al alle­giance, total obe­di­ence. What does that mean specif­i­cal­ly for you? In this, as in all things, Jesus Christ will be your present Teacher and tell you. He desires to coun­sel you, lead you, teach you, rule you, gov­ern you.

Per­haps you may ask, How do I come into this new life with God?” There is no human scheme, no three easy steps, that will make this hap­pen. It is a work of the Spir­it of Christ in your life. Begin today by ask­ing Him to be your liv­ing and ever present Teacher. Lis­ten to Him day and night. Con­fess every sin and for­sake every­thing that oppos­es His way. Obey Him in every­thing He instructs you to do and live in His new Life and Light. In this way you will come into the new life with God in Christ.

Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Cres­cent, Oct. 1977

Originally published October 1977

Starting Soon: The 2020-21 Renovaré Book Club

An inten­tion­al way to read for trans­for­ma­tion not just infor­ma­tion. Runs Sep­tem­ber 2020 through May 2021.

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